IMF Warns of EU ‘Nightmare Scenario’ as Skeptics Push Away From Brussels

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
By Paul Martin

Only a few months into his role as IMF chief economist and Maurice Obstfeld has issued a grim warning about a potential “nightmare scenario” in Europe, raising concerns about how the refugee crisis, Brexit and rising Euroskepticism could lead many countries to resist further market integration.

With slow global economic growth and concerns over the impacts of climate change putting pressure on economies worldwide, Obstfeld said he was concerned about a “nightmare scenario” in Europe, which would see EU member states pushing against closer economic ties, in a move he believes would weaken Europe’s economic bonds.

“I worry a lot about the strong trend in Europe to pull back from market integration,” he told AFP, adding that the recent mass migration of people to Europe was leading many to call for new restrictions to be enforced.”

“One factor is the refugee crisis, where there’s a lot of pressure on open borders and workers’ mobility. There is a lot of political pressure coming from the extremes, which could undo a lot of the economic integration that has occurred.”

Brexit — ‘Obvious Threat’ to EU Economy

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